Former U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., has joined Shumaker Advisors in the Tampa Bay region where he will work on ballot initiatives and community issues including building a new stadium to keep the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team in the Sunshine State.
Ron Christaldi, the president and CEO of Shumaker Advisors and an attorney at Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick, announced on Thursday that Jolly was joining his team. Last month, Shumaker brought on Jennifer Wilson, a longtime legislative staffer.
“Being ‘involved’ is the foundation of our organization and Shumaker is making an impact in and for our community each and every day,” said Mark Catchur, the managing partner of the Shumaker Tampa office. “We are proud to help give voices to great organizations that make the Tampa Bay community the absolute best place to live, work and play. Having David and Jennifer join our team will increase our capacity to help our clients reach the next level and provide a tremendous ability to support and impact the future of the Tampa Bay region.”
Jolly emerged in Florida politics in 2014 when he edged former state CFO Alex Sink in a special election called after the death of longtime U.S. Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla. Later that year, Jolly won a full term in his own right and turned his eyes to the U.S. Senate, launching a bid after U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., announced he would run for the Republican presidential nomination instead of a second term in the Senate.
When Rubio announced at the last moment that he would seek a second term, Jolly decided to seek reelection. But he faced a major Democratic challenger in former Gov. Charlie Crist who won in 2016 taking 52 percent while the Republican incumbent pulled 48 percent.
Since losing to Crist, Jolly has remained politically active, taking shots at President Donald Trump in the media and working with U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., on a tour of Florida to “pull back the curtain on Washington and shine a light on the inside reasons why D.C. is in a state of chaos and dysfunction.” Jolly and Murphy made appearances across the Sunshine State on “Why Gridlock Rules Washington and How We Can Solve the Crisis.”
While there had been buzz that Jolly would try to take Crist on in a rematch, pointing to the special congressional election in Pennsylvania, the former Republican congressman announced back in March that he would not seek office this year. There had also been buzz that Jolly would be Murphy’s running mate if that Democrat ran for governor. But Murphy stayed out of the race and threw his support to former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Fla., for governor.